I officially grew old yesterday afternoon. Once you've seen the rise and fall of a sports stadium, you've officially, um, been around the block.
I remember a kinder, gentler era in Dallas when as a little punk I'd peer out the family Fury along I-35 and gaze in wonderment at The Sportatorium, P.C. Cobb Stadium and a futuristic construction site dedicated to a dazzling new structure to be called Reunion Arena.
The Sportatorium is a vacant, dreary lot. Cobb is the InfoMart. And, after yesterday's final-straw demolition, Reunion is destined to be a grassy, soul-less field come March.
Please, bow your heads.
Let us not weep at the death of Reunion Arena, but rather rejoice in its life ...
For it was a splendid stadium, elegantly framing unforgettable moments for a generation of sports fans and bolstering a city's image with its ...
Oh, who are we kidding?
As an awkwardly flat and rectangular sports structure that grew obsolete before you could buy a beer, Reunion perishes as a Dallas disappointment. In scratching out an appropriate eulogy for the joint on 777 Sports St., I struggled to produce a list of feel-good memories and resorted to consulting the microfiche for a handful of home-grown defining moments.
And I started going to Reunion Arena on April 28, 1980.
When John McEnroe served his first ace that night as part of the World Championship Tennis Finals, mayor Robert Folsom's $27 million venture seemed like a bargain. At a time when you could smoke anywhere you damn well pleased in Dallas, Reunion was all glassy and classy, destined to attract major sports, house multiple championships and create indelible images. But something happened on the way to Reunion becoming Madison Square Garden South.